S Problem. Essay, Research Paper
At Last an Answer to College Football s Problem.
You do not invent a game without a means of determining a winner. You do not form a league without a plan for determining a champion. These are just a couple of basic sport concepts. For example, baseball came up with the World Series, and pro football gave us the Super Bowl. As for college football, it decided on, well, does anybody know? Somebody, anybody? I say that you would be able to buy a nuclear bomb at King Soopers before the NCAA approves an appropriate system for determining a champion. Be patient. In good time, there will be a championship playoff system, and maybe our grandchildren will be able to witness it. The current system’s name is the Bowl Championship Series. It is a computer ranking system that at the end of the year ranks teams and places the number 1 and number 2 teams in a bowl game to determine the national champion. These ranking systems are responsible for all the controversy in the last 10 years of college football. Never answering the question, Who is the real national champion? This should be decided on the football field not a computer or writers, reporters, and coaches voting at the end of the season. Without a true playoff system, like the ones that exist in every other college sport, and at all levels of football. The national championship will always be tinted and weak in the eyes of the entire college football community. A true playoff would remove all doubt and answer all questions.
Over the last nine seasons the national title has been split three times (Super Alliance 1). Under the “poll system” this contains the Associated Press Poll and the coach s poll. Now under this current formula that resembles something similar to the theory of relativity, it takes in account wins, loses, schedule strength, ranking in polls, and the margin of victory. What happened to the day when the team who was undefeated won the title, not this irrational computer program deciding who wins. It only makes sense that the champion should be decided on the field and not by a vote. As of now all the focus is on one of the BCS bowls, the Sugar Bowl, the cite for the national championship game.
There are many people against the playoff system and for many reasons. People believe that if a playoff system is implemented many teams will be left out of the post season. Just taking the purposed, four or eight team tournament leaves many teams watching TV at the end of the season. This is what they do not want especially for small schools or schools outside the top ten. Michigan athletic director Joe Roberson said, There is a lot more important things for these kids to be worrying about than who is number 1. Bowl games for all schools are worth a lot of money. If these bowls are limited then theses schools miss out on millions of dollars. Then there is the issue of attendance. If this drops in a bowl site, it can be real trouble. If a playoff system is created, officials think that fans will not be able to travel to the cites where they are played. As popular as it is, the NCAA basketball tournament does not sell out every first round site even with eight teams competing for 15,000 tickets (Dutton 3). In football, the challenge would be to sell out stadiums of 50,000 or more to 2 teams with short notice. Half-empty stadiums are easy to criticize (Dutton 3). It is better to have all the teams brings all their fans then, some of the teams bringing only some of their fans. The only plus is the College Super Bowl , which would probably field an unbelievable amount of people and money.
The interests in the bowl games are declining. Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese said, In an effort to focus on a championship game, we re putting all the other bowls in a negative position. (Super Alliance 1). In addition, unless you are a die-hard fan one could give a rat s ass about bowls such as the Motor City Bowl. Corporate sponsors are worried that this trend could continue and games start to take on less of importance. That is why a playoff system is needed, to save football. America wants to see Nebraska get beat in the first round by some underdog just making into the playoffs. America loves the underdog. It is the excitement of a Cinderella team pulling off the last second upset. A good example of a Cinderella team is Virginia Tech. They finished their season (11-0) and are currently number two in the BCS standings. However, number three Nebraska is threatening them because of the weakness of V. Tech s schedule this year. Even thought Nebraska has one lose they have a chance in making it into the Sugar Bowl to play Florida State. More and more controversy builds, but it could all be solved with a playoff system.
Another problem that develops from this system. What will occur if this computer system generates a tie? No one said that this computer is perfect. Then again, what if there are three or four unbeaten teams at the end of the season, and only two of them get a shot. What do we do then? Yet, another question is unanswered. The top two teams play in the national title game, and it is assumed that the winner will be declared the national champion, right? But as ESPN s Lee Corso would say, Not so fast, my friend ( Dufresne 2). The winner of the Sugar Bowl will be declared the national champion in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. This poll made that decision when the BCS was created last year. However, the voters in The Associated Press media poll did not agree and are not obligated to vote for the Sugar Bowl winner (Dufresne 2). Therefore, if FSU wins the coaches could still vote Virginia Tech the champion. Once again, a possible split could occur!
There are many big name coaches in favor of a playoff system. I have respect for both polls. It is just sad that we are still dealing with polls. You wish their was just one or the other , said Nebraska s coach Osborne (Super Alliance 3). I think there s going to be a playoff because the public thinks we need one, and we do. , Washington State s coach Mike Price said (Super Alliance 3). The point of the playoff is to find the best team in the land. Playoffs have given us the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl (last season), the wild card Florida Marlins winning the world series (1997), and the eight seeded Villanova dropping No. 1 seed Georgetown in the final four (1985), just to name of few amazing playoff stories (Davis 1). Everyone is looking for an answer, so this is the system that will solve all our problems.
First, let the minor bowls be. Their function should not change at all. For the smaller schools, this is what they look forward to at the end of the season. Next, we will limit the playoff to ten teams. This is more than enough to decide a champion. Guarantee playoff spots to certain big name conferences, and give at large bids to teams near the top of the polls. We will award the top two teams for a good season with a bye in the first round. Yes the polls are still apart of the game, and will be forever. There will never be a good way to select teams for the playoff without the polls. Some controversy may still exist but not in determining a national champion. Let us use the same rotating system for the bowls to field the games, similar to the BCS. That is about the only thing they have right for that system.
The first round of the playoffs should be played in the first or second week of December. This first round would not involve the bowls. The top conference champions would get home field advantage for the first round, meaning the at large teams would play on the road no matter what ranking. Teams will have not problem selling out stadiums to see a top ten match up. Therefore, that takes care of the attendance factor.
The winners of the first round will advance to play in the great eight , similar to what the NCAA college basketball tournament does, during the following week. This will put us in the middle of December. Winners of those games will play in bowls at their designed cites on New Year s day. Then finally the College Football Super bowl will be played a week or two later. Possibility in the off week of the NFL playoffs. To get a real sense let s put the teams into the brackets. First, Michigan State @ Michigan and the winner would play Florida State. In the same bracket, Florida would play Nebraska. On the other side, The winner of Alabama @ Kansas State would play Virginia Tech, and then Tennessee would play Wisconsin in the other game. Could you imagine the incredible game after incredible game? This fanasty match up wets the appetite of any football fan. Finally you would have the best two teams on the final weekend of the season and a true champion would be decided.
This would sure beat the reading from some computer printout or stupid simulations about what could have happened. The system is something one can take seriously. The players can decide using gifted skill to determine the real champion. This college Super Bowl would revolutionize the sport, so it can be become one with all the other sport events like it. This answers all the bowl official s questions about attendance, involving the bowl games, yet creating a playoff system without polls or computers to determine the winner. The BCS has just three long years left on their contract and hopefully by that time the heads of college football will end this open ended question (Dutton 5). Who is the National Champion of college football?